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Modern Lighting Singapore: Do’s and Don’ts

You probably had a dedicated Pinterest board set-up before moving into your brand new home or apartment. Whether it was on Pinterest or just a collection of images in your gallery aptly titled as ‘New Home,’ odds are you probably didn’t think much over lighting solutions. 

You’re not alone. Most new homeowners spend hours upon hours shifting through a plethora of catalogs for color schemes, furniture placements, and several other considerations, but don’t look much into lighting. This is usually because of the misconception that lighting a living space is easy. 

However, it isn’t until you’re struggling with wires, looking for plugs, and feeling like your living room is gloomy even with your bright furniture that you realize lighting a space is actually pretty difficult. 

Is There a Wrong Way to Light Up a Space?

Gilded antique brass shade floor lamp

Shown in Image: Lennart Antique Brass Shade Floor Lamp

To answer this, it’s best to recall the three broad categories of lighting: Ambient, Task, and Accent. Most people would leave it at ambient lighting also known as general illumination. Their perception of lighting solutions is to provide illumination and that’s it. 

Although that is, undoubtedly, the main purpose of any lighting element, there are several factors that come into play:

  • The overall design of the fixture or movable lighting element.
  • The type of light that it casts. 
  • The type of bulb it has. 
  • The harmony it has with the room. 
  • The harmony it has with other lighting elements. 
  • The energy it consumes.

These are just some of the many considerations that need to be taken into account when considering a lighting element as the right fit for your space. If you choose a lighting element at random and intend for it to be used only to light a space, you’ll notice:

  • Undue stress on your eyes while focusing on near or far objects due to improper lighting. 
  • Gloomy or depressing vibes for your living space.
  • Lights that don’t work with one another (some are too bright, some aren’t bright enough).
  • Inadequate lighting in several parts of the room.

To answer the question: Yes, there is a right and a wrong way to use lighting.

The Do’s:

  • Layering Lighting

Industrial Metal Cage pendant lamps

Shown in Image Mogens Industrial Metal Caged Pendant Light

The term ‘layering’ is used in the world of lighting to refer to lighting décor wherein multiple lighting fixtures are installed so that they work harmoniously with one another. To recall, there are three broad categories of lighting and each serves a dedicated purpose.

For example; in an open floor living room you’ll need a central over-heading light fixture that provides general illumination. This fixture is typically situated right above the sofa or the lounging area where you need illumination, but only for vague purposes. 

Next comes task lighting. These lights are intended to be installed in areas to concentrate lighting for dedicated purposes such as reading, writing, chopping, stitching, and other activities. For your living room, you’ll need task lights over reading corners or over dining tables. 

Lastly, you’ll need to incorporate accent lights to accentuate architectural elements in the room or to highlight decorative ones such as artworks and objects. 

  • Using Dimmers

Beautiful living room space

Credits: Unsplash, Ian Dooley

This can not be stress on enough. Most people believe that dimmers are unnecessary purchases, but they’re actually investments. A dimmer for your lighting element means that you have more control over it and the lighting element is a lot more flexible in its use. 

Dimmers allow you to modify lighting in your living space based on different times of the day, to set different moods, and to focus more light. 

  • Allow Your Elements to Blend-In

Innovative birdcage design vintage pendant lamp

Shown in Image Dorotea Innovative Birdcage Design Vintage Pendant Lamp

We’ve said this before and we’ll say this again, your lighting element needs to blend-in with the aesthetic of your living space, but it should never be engulfed by it. Your lighting element needs to work harmoniously with the rest of your décor as in be of the same aesthetic. However, it should never stick out like a sore thumb. 

There’s always an aesthetic that’s being followed. Whether it’s modern, minimal, rustic, contemporary, or a combination of them. Either your entire living space is based on an aesthetic or each room is. In any event, the lighting element that you’re incorporating needs to feel like it fits right in.

The Don’ts:

  • Hanging Lights Too Low

Extension vintage arm wall lamp

Shown in Image Flemming Extension Vintage Arm Wall Lamp

The lighting element that you’ve installed needs to be situated at the proper height for it to be fully functional.  This might seem like a given, but most people confuse hanging or installing lights at the right height with hanging where it can light the most. 

The most common example would be with scones. Scones are lighting fixtures commonly found alongside tables, bedsides, and in corners of living rooms. Although a scone could be virtually in any corner of your living space. 

Never hang lights away from eye-level. Hang them in areas where they serve their purpose plus limit stress on your eyes. The light needs to be situated where it can illuminate the space it needs to, provide the function that it has, and accentuate form for the space.

  • Forget About Bulbs

Lavish interior with layered lighting

Credits: Renopedia, Dot’s n’ Tots Interior

Are bulbs important? They’re quite arguably the most important element of the lighting element itself. The bulb controls the most straightforward purpose of the lighting fixture – illumination. 

However, besides that, it also helps in adjusting light, setting the mood, and even controls you electricity bill. 

To simplify, there are several kinds of bulbs to choose from:

  • Incandescent
  • Halogen
  • Fluorescent, and 
  • LED

LED lights are the most energy-saving, but are also the most expensive. They are therefore termed as investments more than they are as one-time purchases. Incandescent lights give a soft, yellow-ish hue to the room, but have a short life span. Halogen lights are brighter, but also more energy-consuming. Fluorescent lights are less expensive and less energy-saving than LED lights. 

Essentially, every light bulb has its’ own pro’s and con’s attached to it. The best thing to do would be to study them in detail and make an informed choice on the type of bulb you’re using.


In conclusion, the type of lighting element that you use plays a significant impact on your living space. There are several factors to consider: several do’s and don’ts that need to be remembered before you buy yourself a lighting element.

For lighting inspiration, visit Light Vault!